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Thought of the day: Christianity from a Jewish point of view

August 25, 2014

Christians view their religion as the fulfilment of every single promise and aspiration found in the pages of the “Old Testament”. They also see the teachings found in their scriptures, in the Greek text of the New Testament, as the summation, explanation and indeed the perfection of everything the Hebrew scriptures taught. Out of the old Judaism comes the new wine, new teachings, custom tailored by Jesus Christ for the new race of saintly people to populate the eternity, “the One New Man”.

The Jewish view of Christianity’s high opinion of itself and its new insights, however, is quite the opposite. It can be summed up in one sentence:

What is true in Christianity is not new, and what is new [in it] is not true.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2014 4:46 am

    Perhaps this summation of the totality of the Christian faith is a little unkind. Our Christian friends and neighbours have a great plurality in their opinion of what Christianity is. Even within particular churches, like that of Rome or the Orthodox Church, there is a breadth of ecclesiastical opinion. Don’t Jews rightly get infuriated to hear others speak of a whole people as “the Jews?” Why then should it be done to the Christians?

  2. August 29, 2014 7:18 am

    LM, OK, do tell which new thing introduced by Christianity is true.

  3. August 29, 2014 9:00 am

    Dear Gene – My intention was not to present an apology for the Christian or any other faith. What the Christians believe, they believe, and what Jews believe, they also believe. Having taken the time to look over your recent posts list and your subject cloud I have come to see that you have some particular issues with Christians in particular. Would you like to discuss these?

  4. August 29, 2014 9:31 am

    LV, the raison d’etre of this blog is to confront idolatry of worshiping anything else but only the G-d of Israel. The people I reach out to are first and foremost other Jews still stuck in idolatry. The reason I focus on Christianity/Messianic Movement is because I was involved in it for almost two decades and am intimately familiar with it and because there are Jews like myself who are still involved with that religion. Now, before we get started, can you tell me a little about who you are and where you stand?

  5. August 29, 2014 10:02 am

    Dear Gene – I sense that you are either being defensive or hostile, but I can assure you that there is need for neither. I am your friend. I’m a mathematician and a lecturer with a passion for biblical mythology. I am not a messianic Jew or a Jew of Jesus or anything of that flavour. No, that sort of thing doesn’t interest me in the least. I prefer to leave other people to their own religious choices – so far as they do not lead to the harm of others. Where I stand is in Jerusalem. It reads to me as though your brush with the Christians was on the cult end of the spectrum, and for that I do sympathise with you.

  6. August 29, 2014 10:22 am

    LM, I was involved in mainstream Evangelical Christianity (in one of its largest and most popular denominations) and then mainstream Messianic Judaism. Before that, as a teenager, I was part of a Jewish community. No “cults” of any sort. In fact, I have mostly good memories of my time in Christianity and the friends I made during my time there. No personal bitterness of any sort toward any person I met and you will not find it on my blog.

    “I sense that you are either being defensive or hostile”

    This blog is obviously not about singing “kumbaya”, so some sort of confrontation about the most sensitive of subject matters (religion) is inevitable. But, I don’t make it personal.

    “Where I stand is in Jerusalem. ”

    Do explain.

    “I prefer to leave other people to their own religious choices – so far as they do not lead to the harm of others. ”

    I don’t go around converting Gentiles of any religion to Judaism (however, if someone wants to learn about Judaism and how Christianity fits into the grand scheme, I am willing to help). My goal is different. As a Jew who was once himself involved in Christianity I feel an obligation to be “brother’s keeper” and help guide those Jews still stuck in Christianity back into the Jewish community. And to those of them who prefer Christianity I say gai gezunterhait! (Yiddish expression)

  7. August 29, 2014 9:57 pm

    Dear Gene – By standing in Jerusalem I was telling where I live. I am not sure that mainstream evangelical Christianity is fully representative of historical Christianity. Sometimes it is better just to let people at it. It is ‘kop oif di plaitses!’ Best of luck.

  8. August 30, 2014 8:57 pm

    LV, shavua tov.

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